2022 Virginia 500: The power of leadership
A note from the publisher
Power is one of those things that can sound great until you have it. It’s a be-careful-what-you-ask-for kind of thing. Power without leadership often goes awry, leading to unfortunate outcomes. The kind of power that works well requires leadership, good stewardship and a genuine concern for the well-being of an entire team.
Many of us can remember working hard to rise through the ranks of large companies. There were leaders who helped — not just because they had they power to do so, but because of a true interest in the work, its potential and the collective ability to grow
as an organization.
Conversely, particularly on rungs closer to the top of the corporate ladder, one might find some who are more self-interested. Maintaining or increasing personal power becomes their objective. That’s power without leadership. Unchecked, such toxic behaviors lead to cultural and organizational decline. Teams can be built, but they can also be lost. Sadly enough, it’s easy to know this when you see it. But internal politics are hard to undo, one common rationalization being that this is just how the world works. Then again, hindsight does tend to be 20/20.
Properly executed, power is a handmaiden to leadership. Real leaders set values and direction but empower those below them — not just to get the job done, but also to demonstrate shared organizational values, unlock creativity and generate new ideas from the people who are closest to customers and the tasks at hand.
True leaders maintain a focus on culture and values that lead the organization forward in good times and bad. That’s the sustainable power of good leadership in action.
The third annual edition of the Virginia 500 again features profiles of the top leaders from across the commonwealth. Thanks to the success of our first two issues, we’ve been able to improve the layout and design to make this an even more reader-friendly, must-have resource.
This is a list of the most powerful Virginians. And in almost every instance, you will find these are leaders who have done it right. We thank them for providing the vision and leadership that makes Virginia a great place to do business. Enjoy!